Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio), one of the leading candidates to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate in the 2016 presidential election, detailed Tuesday during a congressional hearing the many struggles that the U.S. and global economies have faced under Barack Obama’s presidency.
Speaking at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affiars to Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen, Brown described how the American economy has struggled in recent months.
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"Since your last appearance, the economy’s made only modest gains," Brown said. "Inflation remains low; job creation seems to have slowed; the economies of our trading partners are struggling. Uncertainty, most notably with the possibility of Britain’s exit from the European Union. Uncertainty remains high."
Brown, a fiery progressive who is considered one of the more liberal members of the Democratic Party, was referring to the slow growth that has stalled the economy this year.
The U.S. economy slowed in the first quarter of 2016 to 0.8 percent growth, a drop from the minimal 1.4 percent of the fourth quarter in 2015. This news came a week before the Bureau of Labor Statistics released data showing that a record number of Americans are currently not in the labor force.
The Wall Street Journal reported this past weekend that economists estimate a 21 percent probability that a recession will start next year.
Brown’s name has been floated as a possible choice to be presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s choice for vice president. Brown has the benefit of representing Ohio, a crucial swing state that may decide the general election and can appeal to progressive voters who supported Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) during the Democratic primary and are reluctant to support Clinton in the general election.
Clinton has tried to tie herself to Obama’s record to bolster her standing during the primary, causing some observers to say her presidency would be a third term for Obama.